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what would be the best route for a direct CHI-NYP route, because the Cardinal is routed a million miles to the south, the LSL is routes half a million miles to the north through Albany, but the Capitol Limited obviously requires a connection on the NEC, would this be a good CHI-NYP direct route: CHI-CLE-PGH-Harrisburg-PHL-NYP? Did a train once run this route? (as its own train, not through cars, or prior to Amtrak?)

Edited by norfolkwesternhenry

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You just made my day Henry!

 

The Broadway Limited, 1994: http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19941030n&item=0018

 

The BL was cancelled in 1995 but was brought back shortly later as the Three Rivers.

 

Three Rivers, 1997: http://www.timetables.org/full.php?group=19970511n&item=0026

 

The Three Rivers was cancelled in 2005 and there has been no replacement since. Since then, all of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia has had no direct connection to Chicago and Philadelphia only has the aforementioned Cardinal.

 

Technically neither the BL nor the TR ever served Cleveland but there's no reason a train could not travel that route.

Edited by Philly Amtrak Fan

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Please don't encourage Philly Amtrak Fan Henry, he's been trying to kill the Card to get a PHL-CHI train since joining this forum!* 😊

 

* We'd all like a revival of the Broadway Ltd. but through cars on the Pennsy to PGH to connect with the Cap in PGH is the plan that hopefully comes true soon!

Edited by Bob Dylan

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At one time, there were 5 Railroads offering through trains from New York to Chicago; 1) Pennsylvania Railroad via Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne (shortest route but higher terrain) 2) New York Central System two routes via Buffalo and Cleveland (used by Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited now) and via Buffalo and Detroit 3) Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (from Jersey City and New Jersey Central/Reading to Philadelphia) via Baltimore, Washington, Cumberland, Pittsburgh 4) Erie Rail (from Jersey City) via Port Jervis, Elmira, Youngstown, Akron, Huntington 5) Lackawanna - Nickel Plate (from Hoboken) via Scranton, Elmira, Buffalo, Cleveland, Fort Wayne. These railroads offered through trains via these routes until the early 1960s. At one time years earlier the Lehigh Valley, Canadian National, Grand Trunk had a through train from New York's Penn Station to Chicago via Buffalo, Port Huron.

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Most direct does not necessarily translate to fastest. I see nothing wrong with the Lake Shore Limited's route.

One answer would be the much-discussed revival of service more or less on the route of the Broadway Ltd. If we took a poll here, this would be almost unanimous answer to the question, "What new LD train should Amtrak add first?" Even folks opposed to extending the LD system can see this one as overlapping corridors laid end to end: CHI-TOL, TOL-CLE, CHI-CLE, CLE-PGH, PGH-Harrisburg-Lancaster-Philly, among others.

 

Presumably such a train would have you sleep thru the empty of Western Pennsylvania, allowing it to bring daylight service to PGH, Youngstown, nearish to Akron n Canton, CLE, and TOL, nearish to Detroit. And this is a route fat with population. So it looks like a sure winner. But NS is already squealing about proposals to add a second frequency just Harrisburg-PGH, and the route gets more congested the closer it gets to CHI.

 

Another alternative would be a second train on the Lake Shore's flat, "water-level" route. Can we do both? We already have the needed train NYC-ALB-BUF. But from Buffalo west is some of the most crowded freight tracks in the U.S. CSX carries the Lake Shore to Cleveland, then it's on NS into Chicago. They will both do everything they can to keep another passenger train off these main lines.

 

The All Aboard Ohio site states matter-of-factly that CSX was strongly opposed to the 3-C's route (Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati). So the company went to John Kasich when he was running for governor back in 2010, and persuaded him to attack, and then kill, the 3-C's plan.

 

Without investing a pile of money into dedicated passenger-train-only tracks, it's just not going to happen.

 

Much investment is poised to happen, but every project could use a big push.

 

Step 1. In ChicagoLand, a Billion or Two would finish up some big CREATE projects, and speed up all trains from Union Station to the Indiana border.

 

Step 2. Then the South of the Lake plans extend from ChicagoLand to Porter, IN, where the Michigan trains peel off toward the north on existing 110-mph track. SOTL is a bit delayed: "The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record Of Decision is targeted for completion by the summer of 2016. The Service Development Plan is also underway and will be completed by summer of 2016." Yeah. Then we'll need to find maybe $2 Billion to do the work, "incrementally", they say, to spread out the funding problem. Anyway, on that faraway day when SOTL is completed, the Capitol Ltd. and the Lake Shore will each enjoy almost an hour shaved from the run time.

 

Step 3. Extend 110- or 125-mph track from the split at Porter to Cleveland and then Pittsburgh. Back in 2004, the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative estimated that with appropriate upgrades the then-travel time CHI-CLE of 6:24 could be chopped down to 4:22. The plan proposed 6 daily corridor trains in addition to the current 2 LD trains. (Since then, discussion of maximum speeds elsewhere seems to be migrating from 110-mph toward 125 mph, making even faster schedules possible.) Then the Ohio Hub plan added another 6 or so corridor trains CLE-DET.

 

So breaking it down, after CREATE and SOTL take an hour out of the schedule, upgrade Porter-TOL-CLE to take another hour out. That way, CLE moves 2 hours closer to CHI. What to do? Later departures? Earlier arrivals? It's all good.

 

Back to the Midwest Regional Rail study, source of these time savings estimates, it expected $1.2 Billion in 2002 dollars to pay for all the needed upgrades CHI-CLE. Consider inflation, how about $2.4 to $3.6 Billion in today's dollars. Looking at what STL-CHI is costing and gonna cost, $4 Billion will barely be enuff. But wait! CREATE and SOTL will likely cover half of that, leaving about $2 Billion needed for the much longer Porter-TOL/DET-CLE stretch.

 

Of course, the upgrades for 4 1/2 hour service CHI-CLE will increase capacity with an added track all along the way.

 

Continuing east, another half Billion at least to upgrade CLE-Youngstown-PGH. The Ohio Hub study concluded that tweak in the routing would bring more riders. Then PGH-Harrisburg; well, Pennsylvania is working on that.

 

At some point, with mostly dedicated passenger train only tracks between NYC-CHI, adding more passenger trains, like the Broadway Ltd will be easy. And by then Amtrak could have enuff equipment to do this.

Edited by WoodyinNYC

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Most direct does not necessarily translate to fastest. I see nothing wrong with the Lake Shore Limited's route.

One answer would be the much-discussed revival of service more or less on the route of the Broadway Ltd. If we took a poll here, this would be almost unanimous answer to the question, "What new LD train should Amtrak add first?" Even folks opposed to extending the LD system can see this one as overlapping corridors laid end to end: CHI-TOL, TOL-CLE, CHI-CLE, CLE-PGH, PGH-Harrisburg-Lancaster-Philly, among others.

 

Presumably such a train would have you sleep thru the empty of Western Pennsylvania, allowing it to bring daylight service to PGH, Youngstown, nearish to Akron n Canton, CLE, and TOL, nearish to Detroit. And this is a route fat with population. So it looks like a sure winner. But NS is already squealing about proposals to add a second frequency just Harrisburg-PGH, and the route gets more congested the closer it gets to CHI.

 

Another alternative would be a second train on the Lake Shore's flat, "water-level" route. Can we do both? We already have the needed train NYC-ALB-BUF. But from Buffalo west is some of the most crowded freight tracks in the U.S. CSX carries the Lake Shore to Cleveland, then it's on NS into Chicago. They will both do everything they can to keep another passenger train off these main lines.

 

The All Aboard Ohio site states matter-of-factly that CSX was strongly opposed to the 3-C's route (Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati). So the company went to John Kasich when he was running for governor back in 2010, and persuaded him to attack, and then kill, the 3-C's plan.

 

Without investing a pile of money into dedicated passenger-train-only tracks, it's just not going to happen.

 

Much investment is poised to happen, but every project could use a big push.

 

Step 1. In ChicagoLand, a Billion or Two would finish up some big CREATE projects, and speed up all trains from Union Station to the Indiana border.

 

Step 2. Then the South of the Lake plans extend from ChicagoLand to Porter, IN, where the Michigan trains peel off toward the north on existing 110-mph track. SOTL is a bit delayed: "The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record Of Decision is targeted for completion by the summer of 2016. The Service Development Plan is also underway and will be completed by summer of 2016." Yeah. Then we'll need to find maybe $2 Billion to do the work, "incrementally", they say, to spread out the funding problem. Anyway, on that faraway day when SOTL is completed, the Capitol Ltd. and the Lake Shore will each enjoy almost an hour shaved from the run time.

 

Step 3. Extend 110- or 125-mph track from the split at Porter to Cleveland and then Pittsburgh. Back in 2004, the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative estimated that with appropriate upgrades the then-travel time CHI-CLE of 6:24 could be chopped down to 4:22. The plan proposed 6 daily corridor trains in addition to the current 2 LD trains. (Since then, discussion of maximum speeds elsewhere seems to be migrating from 110-mph toward 125 mph, making even faster schedules possible.) Then the Ohio Hub plan added another 6 or so corridor trains CLE-DET.

 

So breaking it down, after CREATE and SOTL take an hour out of the schedule, upgrade Porter-TOL-CLE to take another hour out. That way, CLE moves 2 hours closer to CHI. What to do? Later departures? Earlier arrivals? It's all good.

 

Back to the Midwest Regional Rail study, source of these time savings estimates, it expected $1.2 Billion in 2002 dollars to pay for all the needed upgrades CHI-CLE. Consider inflation, how about $2.4 to $3.6 Billion in today's dollars. Looking at what STL-CHI is costing and gonna cost, $4 Billion will barely be enuff. But wait! CREATE and SOTL will likely cover half of that, leaving about $2 Billion needed for the much longer Porter-TOL/DET-CLE stretch.

 

Of course, the upgrades for 4 1/2 hour service CHI-CLE will increase capacity with an added track all along the way.

 

Continuing east, another half Billion at least to upgrade CLE-Youngstown-PGH. The Ohio Hub study concluded that tweak in the routing would bring more riders. Then PGH-Harrisburg; well, Pennsylvania is working on that.

 

At some point, with mostly dedicated passenger train only tracks between NYC-CHI, adding more passenger trains, like the Broadway Ltd will be easy. And by then Amtrak could have enuff equipment to do this.

I would swap the create projects with south of lake as the south of lake project seems to be the one that would be most visible and best bang for the buck for the average passenger.

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nothing wrong with the Lake Shore Limited's route.

Step 1. In ChicagoLand, a Billion or Two would finish up some big CREATE projects, and speed up all trains from Union Station to the Indiana border.

 

Step 2. Then the South of the Lake plans extend from ChicagoLand to Porter, IN, where the Michigan trains peel off toward the north on existing 110-mph

 

At some point, with mostly dedicated passenger train only tracks between NYC-CHI, adding more passenger trains, like the Broadway Ltd will be easy. And by then Amtrak could have enuff equipment to do this.

I would swap the create projects with south of lake as the south of lake project seems to be the one that would be most visible and best bang for the buck for the average passenger.

Not sure it will have to be either/or. In fact, there might be double-counting of work in Illinois.

 

The much larger problem is that the conventional federal funding requires matching funds from the states (or cities or freights). The geography means that's partly in Illinois but mostly in Indiana, while the minimum project largely benefits Michigan. Do we think Michigan will pay for the expenditures taking place in the neighbor state? Will Indiana pay a lot when it's gonna get a little? Recasting the project in larger terms raises the total costs but gives Indiana a reason to play big. That is, extending 125-mph tracks to Fort Wayne is good for Indiana. Then extending beyond toward Columbus in one direction and toward TOL-DET/CLE in another direction is also good for Indiana, but only if Ohio steps up at their end.

 

Of course, the Obama Stimulus paid 100% for many or most projects, so we weren't at the mercy of any contrary states. Inevitably there'll be another recession come along, they always do. If there's another Stimulus, maybe those funds will build SOTL even without much cash from Indiana. So I wish they'd finish the EIS/ROD for it and be ready to go.

Edited by WoodyinNYC

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All of the lines have their own merits. The weakest of the historical routes might have been the Erie with a very long haul. With a 24 hour card. And that was their flagship on the route. Then you had the Ex PRR route which was the shortest and the EX NYC was about sixty miles long. But both were able to maintain 16 hour carding. The B&O routing via Washington was really roundabout. And the Capitol Limited never really competed well in the market NY-CHI. It was and still is a Washington train. The last route the NKP and DLW wasn't really competitive. The connection in BUF going east was five hours with a horrible arrival time in Hoboken.

The strongest route city wise is the EX NYC with Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo.

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what would be the best route for a direct CHI-NYP route, because the Cardinal is routed a million miles to the south, the LSL is routes half a million miles to the north through Albany, but the Capitol Limited obviously requires a connection on the NEC, would this be a good CHI-NYP direct route: CHI-CLE-PGH-Harrisburg-PHL-NYP? Did a train once run this route? (as its own train, not through cars, or prior to Amtrak?)

 

I'm interested in your definition of "best." It seems the difference between The Lake Shore and the previous CHI-PGH-HAR-PHL-NYP is a scant 44 miles. Additionally, the Lake Shore had a faster schedule despite the fact it was 44 miles longer.

 

So, I guess I'm confused as to why you're saying that the Lake Shore is half of million miles to the north when it actually made better time.

 

In other words, it is quite clear to me that the Lake Shore is probably the "best" for endpoint to endpoint travel since it doesn't involve a twisty, mountainous route that is slower.

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At one time there was a plan for an "air line" directly from Chicago to NYC along pretty much as straight of a line as possible - this was to be an electric (yes, third rail) road. Very little was built outside of the Chesterton, Indiana area, from what I understand. The schematic route was what appears to be halfway between the 20th Century and Broadway routes (I think roughly along, what is it, I-80?).

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Restored Broadway Ltd. (rerouted thru CLE-TOL) and/or a second frequency on the Lake Shore Ltd. water level route -- and I'm looking for both trains -- will require an additional track PGH-CLE-TOL-CHI and BUF-CLE-TOL-CHI. We can get most of that from Corridor train upgrades with 125-mph top speeds.

 

After all, the midpoint ridership is huge. It's hidden in the dark by the post-midnight service to CLE and the too-late and too-early service to PGH and TOL, and to BUF for that matter. And let's mention the too late and too early connections with DET-Dearborn-Ann Arbor.

 

We'll probably have to wait for the next recession and Stimulus 2 to get the amount of funding needed, but I'd put a CLE-TOL-CHI corridor right at the top when they pass out the money.

 

Meanwhile we can hope to see the fleet replacement order with another couple of hundred cars or more beyond those needed simply for replacement. It would depend on how the order is structured, maybe with VIA in on it, and back-loaded with options. Then perhaps Amtrak can be ready with the needed equipment by the time, 10 or 12 years from now, when the upgrades on the CLE-TOL-CHI corridor are finished.

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what would be the best route for a direct CHI-NYP route, because the Cardinal is routed a million miles to the south, the LSL is routes half a million miles to the north through Albany, but the Capitol Limited obviously requires a connection on the NEC, would this be a good CHI-NYP direct route: CHI-CLE-PGH-Harrisburg-PHL-NYP? Did a train once run this route? (as its own train, not through cars, or prior to Amtrak?)

 

I'm interested in your definition of "best." It seems the difference between The Lake Shore and the previous CHI-PGH-HAR-PHL-NYP is a scant 44 miles. Additionally, the Lake Shore had a faster schedule despite the fact it was 44 miles longer.

 

So, I guess I'm confused as to why you're saying that the Lake Shore is half of million miles to the north when it actually made better time.

 

In other words, it is quite clear to me that the Lake Shore is probably the "best" for endpoint to endpoint travel since it doesn't involve a twisty, mountainous route that is slower.

 

* In the pre-Amtrak era, the PRR had the fastest ever schedule....at one time, in the fifties, the eastward Broadway Limited, Train No. 28, ran Chicago to New York in 15 hours and 30 minutes....the rival NYC Twentieth Century Limited best time was 15 hours and 45 minutes....

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But how sustainable was that schedule. Everything would have to run perfect and smooth every day to keep it that way. And the railroad is far from perfect. I knew they got it to 15 3/4s but never 15.5

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But how sustainable was that schedule. Everything would have to run perfect and smooth every day to keep it that way. And the railroad is far from perfect. I knew they got it to 15 3/4s but never 15.5

Okay....look here :cool:

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track5/broadway195607.html

 

And if you notice, even that tight schedule had a bit of padding....notice the extra recovery time between Newark and New York.... :)

 

Back in those days, The Broadway ruled the railroad....no one would dare to be accountable for any delay to that flagship train, and still hope to keep their position....

Edited by railiner

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Back in those days, The Broadway ruled the railroad....no one would dare to be accountable for any delay to that flagship train, and still hope to keep their position....

That is precisely what makes it unsustainable. ;) That is not a sustainable practical way to run anything. Someone else was suffering big time to make that borderline impractical schedule possible for one showcase train. Edited by jis

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Well you may have a point there.....

they used to say "Mussolini made the trains run on-time" :P

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But how sustainable was that schedule. Everything would have to run perfect and smooth every day to keep it that way. And the railroad is far from perfect. I knew they got it to 15 3/4s but never 15.5

Okay....look here :cool:

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track5/broadway195607.html

 

And if you notice, even that tight schedule had a bit of padding....notice the extra recovery time between Newark and New York.... :)

 

Back in those days, The Broadway ruled the railroad....no one would dare to be accountable for any delay to that flagship train, and still hope to keep their position....

 

Both the Broadway Limited and the 20th Century Limited charged an extra fare for the limited stop schedule that had to be refunded if the schedule was not maintained which was another reason to run on time.

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what would be the best route for a direct CHI-NYP route, because the Cardinal is routed a million miles to the south, the LSL is routes half a million miles to the north through Albany, but the Capitol Limited obviously requires a connection on the NEC, would this be a good CHI-NYP direct route: CHI-CLE-PGH-Harrisburg-PHL-NYP? Did a train once run this route? (as its own train, not through cars, or prior to Amtrak?)

I'm interested in your definition of "best." It seems the difference between The Lake Shore and the previous CHI-PGH-HAR-PHL-NYP is a scant 44 miles. Additionally, the Lake Shore had a faster schedule despite the fact it was 44 miles longer.

 

So, I guess I'm confused as to why you're saying that the Lake Shore is half of million miles to the north when it actually made better time.

 

In other words, it is quite clear to me that the Lake Shore is probably the "best" for endpoint to endpoint travel since it doesn't involve a twisty, mountainous route that is slower.

I was exaggerating to the extreme, I was looking for a direct route, the LSL might actually be the "best", because of the fast water level route, and 100+ MPH track in NY, although maybe going north probably adds time, although there is the BOS connection, which could be added in NYP with a diner to a NER, on an earlier schedule. I think the fact that the LSL needs to head almskt directly south on an east west route probably adds mire time, correct me if I am wrong Edited by norfolkwesternhenry

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At one time there was a plan for an "air line" directly from Chicago to NYC along pretty much as straight of a line as possible - this was to be an electric (yes, third rail) road. Very little was built outside of the Chesterton, Indiana area, from what I understand. The schematic route was what appears to be halfway between the 20th Century and Broadway routes (I think roughly along, what is it, I-80?).

This ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_%E2%80%93_New_York_Electric_Air_Line_Railroad

 

I guess the OP is thinking of something like it....

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At one time there was a plan for an "air line" directly from Chicago to NYC along pretty much as straight of a line as possible - this was to be an electric (yes, third rail) road. Very little was built outside of the Chesterton, Indiana area, from what I understand. The schematic route was what appears to be halfway between the 20th Century and Broadway routes (I think roughly along, what is it, I-80?).

This ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_%E2%80%93_New_York_Electric_Air_Line_Railroad

 

I guess the OP is thinking of something like it....

 

Yup, the very same!

 

Well you may have a point there.....

they used to say "Mussolini made the trains run on-time" :P

Wasn't that, er, not quite true? (as an aside, when my father escaped from Eastern Europe during the early part of the war, yeah WWII, he was very impressed with Italian trains - "it was like stepping into the future, they were all electric")

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I think keeping the LSL, but add the Broadway Limited that could also be the second Pittsburgh/NYP train the state has tossed around. Then you still have the Capitol Limited to WAS with NEC connections. Have the CL still be connection with the Pennsylvanian making all the stops across PA, allowing the BL to just stop at the major stops (Limited Stops), fast track it to NYP. WAS passengers that didn't take the CL could do the NEC to WAS at PHL.

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Yeah BL could just do Johnstown, Altoona, Harrisburg, Philly, Newark, New York.

 

Or just to irritate Philly Railfan it could skip Philadelphia using the New York Subway with the engine change at Harrisburg :D

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I think if you had limited stops, a decent depart and arrival both ways, decent amenities in the Sleepers, there are a number of travelers fed up with air travel and would consider the train. When I was working that is what happened for us going from CHI to WAS. NO SECURITY hassle, leave in the evening, be showered and fresh in the morning preparing for our WAS meetings arriving about lunch. For a while there was a group from my company plus several other regular business travelers almost weekly.

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